A Chat with August’s Profile, Kassie Rempel, founder and owner of SimplySoles
© Profile of Success, Catalog Success magazine, August 2007
Interview by Gail Kalinoski
Catalog Success: When was the catalog established?
Kassie Rempel: The first catalog was mailed in September 2004. It took about a year to educate myself enough to feel comfortable putting something in the mail. The first catalog was 36 pages and now they are always 36 pages. I started with two catalogs a year, one for fall and one for spring.
It has since grown. In fact, this upcoming fall, we will have four drops this season. We are working our way to eight drops a year. Right now we do three drops a season. Fall will be the first with four drops.
CS: What is your primary merchandise?
KR: Designer women’s shoes. We have slowly begun to add accessories. This season we added baby shoes, which has been phenomenally successful. We slowly started to add handbags and they have been a phenomenal success as well.
CS: How did the company/catalog get started?
KR: With the generosity of strangers. I had two catalogers who educated and inspired me: Terri Alpert with Uno Alla Volta and Andrew Newsome with Wisteria. I sent Andrew a letter complimenting his catalog and asking for advice on how to start my own. He sent back a three-page letter that served as my blueprint. To this day, I use the same printer and list broker that he originally suggested I contact. I’ve never met him, but I know SimplySoles would not exist without him. Terri, on the other hand, has been an ongoing mentor in every sense of the word. She has opened up her business to me to help me learn the types of financials I should be running, and obstacles I’ll probably face. She’s a sounding board, a coach, and a cheerleader and is a large reason for our success.